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Geothermal

All States and the Northern Territory have legislation in place to regulate geothermal exploration and development.

New South Wales

New South Wales geothermal titles are governed under the Mining Act 1992 External site link and regulated by Mining Regulation 2010 External site link.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory geothermal titles are governed under Geothermal Energy Act 2009 External site link and Geothermal Energy Regulations External site link.

Queensland

Queensland geothermal titles are governed under the Geothermal Energy Act 2010 External site link and the Geothermal Energy Regulations 2012 External site link.

South Australia

South Australian geothermal titles are governed under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 External site link.

Tasmania

Tasmanian geothermal titles are governed under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 External site link.

Victoria

Victorian geothermal titles are governed under the Geothermal Energy Resources Act 2005 External site link.

Western Australia

West Australian geothermal titles are governed under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 External site link.

Uranium

The regulatory framework governing uranium mining in Australia is complex and varies between the Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 External site link provides for the protection of human health and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. The transportation of uranium and its by products is regulated through general provisions of the Act, which relate to radiation hazards.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987 External site link , derived from the 1973 Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, has the objective of ensuring the physical security of nuclear materials within Australia. Under this legislation, possession of nuclear material (including uranium) requires a permit and approval from the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO).

Under Regulation 9 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 External site link (under the Customs Act 1901), an export licence is necessary for the export of radioactive material (including refined uranium, plutonium and thorium). Export applications are subject to assessment by the Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism and the ASNO to ensure that Australian uranium is only being exported for peaceful, non-explosive purposes under Australia’s network of bilateral safeguards agreements. 

Commonwealth

Under the Atomic Energy Act 1953 (as amended) External site link which requires the Minister to be notified upon discovery of a prescribed substance, (i.e. Uranium or Thorium) Sect. 36 and provides the Minister with the power to obtain information about prescribed substances, Sect. 37.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) External site link where the Commonwealth becomes involved where an action will have or is likely to have a significant impact on certain aspects of the environment.

New South Wales

In New South Wales prospecting and mining of uranium is prohibited under Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act 1986 (NSW) External site link , however uranium can be mined in the course of mining for another mineral. Managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1992 External site link .

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory the Commonwealth controls ‘prescribed substances’ and joint agreements between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory can allow for uranium is to be within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act External site link .

Queensland

In Queensland there are no restrictions under the current Mineral Resources Act 1989 External site link , however the current government has policies that prohibit new uranium mining.

South Australia

In South Australia exploration of uranium can occur within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1971, however mining is prohibited unless the Minister has specifically endorsed the operations under the Mining Act 1971 External site link .

Tasmania

In Tasmania there are no restrictions under the current Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 External site link , however there are no currently operating mines in Tasmania.

Victoria

In Victoria prospecting and mining of uranium is prohibited under Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983 (Vic). Managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic) External site link and the Mineral Resources Development Regulations 2002 External site link .

Western Australia

In Western Australia uranium is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) External site link .

Coal

New South Wales

In New South Wales coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1992 External site link .

Northern Territory

In Northern Territory coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act External site link .

Queensland

In Queensland coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 External site link .

South Australia

In South Australia coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1971 External site link .

Tasmania

In Tasmania coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 External site link .

Victoria

In Victoria coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic) External site link and the Mineral Resources Development Regulations 2002 External site link .

Western Australia

In Western Australia coal is managed within mineral titles and governed under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) External site link .

Topic contact: energy@ga.gov.au Last updated: April 8, 2013